Friday, December 21, 2007

They Said It

"Now I have come to the cross-roads in my life. I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew, but I never took it. You know why? It was too damn hard. Now here's Charlie. He's come to the cross-roads. He has chosen a path. It's the right path. It's a path made of principle that leads to character. Let him continue on his journey."

- Lt. Col. Frank Slade, speaking in defense of Charlie Simms at a meeting at the Baird School, Scent of a Woman

* * *

"We joined the Marines because we wanted to live our lives by a certain code, and we found it in the Corps. Now you're asking us to sign a piece of paper that says we have no honor. You're asking us to say we're not Marines. If a court decides that what we did was wrong, then I'll accept whatever punishment they give. But I believe I was right sir, I believe I did my job, and I will not dishonor myself, my unit, or the Corps so I can go home in six months... Sir."

- Dawson, A Few Good Men

* * *

Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice
‘Coz now you have a choice
You’re free as a bird on a tree
Are you happy as me?
Now it’s time to leave
All cares and worries behind
Elevate your mind
Rise and shine

- Eraserheads, Rise and Shine

* * *

Isang maligaya at mapagpalayang Pasko sa ating lahat!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Today's Reflection


Matthew 27:3-8 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.

Acts 1:18-19 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.

Song of the Moment


So Sgt. Pepper took you by surprise
You better see right through that mother's eyes
Those freaks was right when they said you was dead
The one mistake you made was in your head
Ah, how do you sleep?
Ah, how do you sleep at night?
You live with straights who tell you you was king
Jump when your momma tell you anything
The only thing you done was yesterday
And since you're gone you're just another day
Ah, how do you sleep?
Ah, how do you sleep at night?

Ah, how do you sleep?
Ah, how do you sleep at night?

A pretty face may last a year or two
But pretty soon they'll see what you can do
The sound you make is muzak to my ears
You must have learned something in all those years
Ah, how do you sleep?
Ah, how do you sleep at night?

- John Lennon, How Do You Sleep?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Malcolm Madness

We all imagine ourselves the agents of our destiny. Capable of determining our own fate. But have we truly any choice in when we rise . . . or when we fall . . . or does a force larger than ourselves bid us our direction? Is it evolution that takes us by the hand . . . does science point our way . . . or is it God who intervenes . . . keeping us safe? *

Hell hath no fury like a woman (teehee) scorned.

Well, I am too old and I have to many things to worry about to want to play mind games with a random number generator. Your wish is my command.

Feel free to osculate my posterior, you pompous, self-absorbed offspring of unmarried antecedents.

For all his bluster, it is the sad province of Man that he cannot choose his triumph. He can only choose how he will stand when the call of destiny comes . . . hoping that he'll have the courage to answer. *


---
* Narration from Heroes (Don't Look Back)

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Long December

We have less than two weeks left before the lantern parade. If you're from Diliman, you would know that that marks the end of classes for this (and every other) calendar year. So on the 19th, between supplications of "Yeah?", interjections of "Fantastic!", and a few smatterings of "You are discombobulating!", we should be able to enjoy the parade from the comfort of our air-conditioned room at the third floor of Malcolm Hall.

From now to the 19th, aside from the usual "Oh God, please not me!" every MWF, I still have to prepare for one guaranteed recit for Thursday, and another guaranteed, but absolutely irrelevant, recit on Saturday. As for the remaining Tuesdays, well, your guess is as good as mine (If I promise to be kind to GMA, I wonder if she can make him(?), uhm, disappear).

I can't wait for the break, the holidays and the scheduled vacation from work. My Christmas shopping (for myself) is flat-out done. I finally have all I want for Christmas. I am oh-so-easy to please.


Just remember, good things come in blue and white.

Monday, November 19, 2007

There Goes the Neighborhood

During the last Ateneo-PEP Test Review Center basketball game this past season, some idiots wearing shit-colored shirts put up a banner that shows the 2006 THES-QS rankings. According to the banner, the PEP Test Review Center was ranked 392, with Ateneo lagging behind at 488 (Actually, Ateneo ranked 484th last year, which proves that not only can they not spell, they also cannot read).


Unlike students and alumni of a certain "school" who use these rankings, primarily, to reassure themselves that they are not hopeless, and secondarily, to sleep better at night, we realists like to think that, at the end of the day, this is just a freaking survey. But, of course, that is not going to stop me from enjoying seeing the idiots watch their solitary argument for life, the universe and everything get flushed down the toilet, now that the 2007 THES-QS rankings are finally released. I think it is now safe to say that no similar banners from shit-colored-shirt-wearing-idiots will be coming up anytime soon, at least, not from the same idiots.

(Just in case you're curious, UP, which did not participate in the survey this year, is at 398 [score 34.7], Ateneo 451 [30.8], La Salle 519 [23.9], and UST 535 [20.8]. Harvard is tops with a score of 100.0. As they say, 'nuf said.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hoot! W00t!

Hooters. Manila.

I never thought I'd live to see the day I'd say both words in the same sentence. But, I guess we are still blessed. The soon to be relatively famous, delightfully tacky yet unrefined, restaurant, is coming to our shores.


Yep, Hooters makes me happy. It must be the wings.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Reality Control

And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed-if all records told the same tale-then the lie passed into history and became truth. "Who controls the past,"' ran the Party slogan, "controls the future: who controls the present controls the past." And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. "Reality control," they called it; in Newspeak, "doublethink."

- George Orwell, 1984

See the original NPC mural here.

Read Neo-Angono's protest letter here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Four Months Later

I saw the most explicit and most torrid puppet-sex ever exhibited on film over the weekend in Team America: World Police. It was released way back in 2004, and was produced by the same people who brought to us the greatest animated film ever: South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. I had to get an original copy because, for some reason, our enterprising brothers from the South, apparently have never heard of it. It was well worth it. Aside from the aforementioned extended sex scene between two of the film's puppet characters, you'd also catch Nokor's Dear Leader Kim Jong Il lamenting his loneliness and hidden injury through song ("I'm So Ronery"), and, of course, you'd hear one of the most romantic lines ever delivered on film: You had me at "dicks fuck assholes".

RPN-9 finally aired the first episode of the second season of Heroes last Sunday (The second season premiered in the US on September 24, 2007. It will consist of 24 episodes). I actually finished the first season way ahead of RPN-9's schedule over four months ago, thanks in no small part to the advancements made in digital video technology in this country, and I expect to outpace the network yet again in a few months, after it airs some 18 or so episodes. It answered a few questions and introduced new characters. And yeah, Hiro is still the man.

I'll be picking up my reserved copy of SI's NBA Preview Issue at Bufini tomorrow, like I do every October. Like last year, I will have exactly one week to enjoy the magazine, before registration and Civpro rolls in.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

What, Me Worry?

In computer science, the ostrich algorithm is a strategy of ignoring potential problems on the basis that they may be exceedingly rare - "to stick your head in the sand and pretend that there is no problem". This assumes that it is more cost-effective to allow the problem to occur than to attempt its prevention.

So, you ask yourself, is the difference between a passing mark and something higher worth the aggravation?

Excuse me while I stick my head in the sand.

Monday, October 22, 2007

51.13%

We are, if anything, creatures of habits. Drawn to the safety and comfort of the familiar. But what happens when the familiar becomes unsafe, when the fear that we have been desperately trying to avoid finds us where we live? *

I had Labor last Friday. No, not the kind that brings forth new life into the universe (fact: if a fetus had an intrauterine life of at least seven months, it need only to be born alive, to be considered a person under our laws - a fact that I conveniently forgot - during Succession finals), but the kind where reading at least 60 pages during the course of the semester is absolutely guaranteed. And that's just the course outline.

Anyway, it's all history now. Labor. Gone. The first half of AY 07-08. Gone. 68 of 133. Gone. As Red said, "That's all it takes really, pressure, and time."

I usually go out for lunch on Fridays, usually, in one of the places in and around the Makati CBD. More often than not, it's usually in one of the malls near the area where I work. I also usually get "sick" during the days when I have matter to attend to over at Diliman, and last Friday was no different. So I was on a cab on the way to Diliman, instead of having lunch at, say, Pizza Hut in Glorietta 2, when I received two messages about the Glorietta Blast. It was a senseless tragedy, and my sympathies go to all the victims and their next of kin. For a moment, I was thankful that I had Labor that day. Only for a moment.

We are all, at our cores, the sum of our fears. To embrace destiny we must inevitably face those fears and conquer them. Whether they come from the familiar or the unknown. *
---
* narration from Heroes (Homecoming).

Monday, October 15, 2007

Prepare for Glory

I was planning to enjoy three post-Succession films over the weekend (In the comfort of my own studio, courtesy of our friendly neighborhood dibidi supplier). First, because I am probably the only person I know who hasn't seen these movies - movies that I sorely wanted to see at some point during the last five months, but obviously didn't. Second, after finally, hopefully, completing Succession under RFB, you really, badly need something to desensitize yourself.

I was able to finish two out of the three movies. It should now rather be obvious what the first film was (The other choice, by the way, for this entry's title is Transform, and Roll out. Not quite as compelling, huh?). I still don't know whether I can find time to watch the third one this week, considering that there is still Labor on Friday. I remember having mentioned many times in the past, that one of the most difficult things to do in this world is to force yourself to prepare for the last hurdle. That is still true, I kid you not.

Anyway, I also have my sembreak desensitization book ready for this weekend. I got a copy of Youngblood^3 as early as last July. I have both The Best of Youngblood and Youngblood 2.0, and I got the third installment because, as Vonnegut would say, I choose or claim to have a shared identity or purpose with the writers. I actually started reading it last Friday, but stopped somewhere in the middle of the book, lest I finish it before the semester actually ends.

I have a Plan B, but by the look of things, it seems that John Grisham's latest work won't be in paperback anytime soon. And no, it has absolutely nothing to do with courts of law (The only Grisham book I have read to date is Bleachers). Reading The Firm for the sembreak would somewhat defeat the purpose, don't you think?

Friday, October 05, 2007

Half-life

The half-life of a quantity, subject to exponential decay, is the time required for the quantity to decay to half of its initial value. The concept originated in the study of radioactive decay, but applies to many other fields as well, including phenomena which are described by non exponential decays.

College was never this fast. Most probably, it's because of the fact that aside from "portering" (or exploitation of the poor, as Felix puts it) and lining up for my monthly stipend, the only thing that I ever needed to do back in college was to show up in class and pass. And that's precisely what I did for four years. I also lived on-campus, which explains why I was late for class most of the time. Unlike the non-resident students, we spent time between classes comfortably sleeping in our own beds, and not in the library.

The experience thus far, has been quite the opposite. Unlike the day classes who spend all day at Malcolm (I think. After all, we barely see them in person), we corporate and government drones have to survive the daily commute (at least, those of us who do) every single day after work (real work - not the sissy, lame-ass version that one gets, to qualify for the evening class), only to suffer moral damages "in the grand manner" for at least two hours. You go home, and prepare to relive the same horrible dream all over again, the very next day.

That, in my opinion, explains why this thing seems to be going much faster than I expected. In two weeks' time, assuming shit does not happen, the block would have finally reached the halfway mark, and before we know it, all of this will be over pretty quick.

It will be painful, but quick, nonetheless.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The End of the Road

Ateneo's season ended last Sunday, after losing its knockout game against the PEPT Squad, for the right to play undefeated UE in the championship round. After winning two consecutive elimination games against No. 4 UST and No. 2 PEPT Squad, the team simply did not have enough gas in the tank this time, to complete its turnaround after losing its last elimination round game to NU, which turned out to be the turning point of the season (note to the Eagles: can we please beat the living shit out of NU twice next year?).

The emptyness of moral victories notwithstanding, Coach Norman Black pointed out to reporters after the game, that nobody predicted the Eagles to be one game away from playing for the championship when the season started, considering that it just lost Macky Escalona, Doug Kramer and JC Intal to graduation. Yet, there they were (No, it doesn't really help).

Ateneo will lose Ford Arao and Zion Laterre to graduation this year. Everybody else (including, hopefully, Chris Tiu), is expected to return. NCAA Juniors MVP Ryan Buenafe, and Justin Chua from Tiong Lian champions CKSC, will reportedly join the team as its rookies next year. These two boys, along with Nonoy Baclao, Eric Salamat and Kirk Long should provide the core of the Hail Mary team for the coming years. The future looks good. At least, on paper.

OBF.

Friday, September 28, 2007

"Gritty Blue Eagles just won’t die"

Down by six going into the last two minutes of the game, and probably, the season, Chris Tiu scored five of the game's last seven points, including the game-winning basket with 7.3 seconds left, to beat the PEPT Squad for the third time in four tries this season, and more importantly, to stay alive for, at least, one more game.


With the win, the Eagles will play the PEPT Squad for a fifth time this season on Sunday, with the winner moving on to play the top-seeded UE Warriors.

OBF.

---
Image courtesy of the Ateneo Sports Shooters.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Bitter

From the New York Times, baby.

Senators, foreign diplomats, cabinet ministers, a smattering of Forbes’s 40 richest Filipinos, movie stars and enough professional basketball players to play five-on-five. They are the elite of Philippine society, and they all gather at Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City to watch the men’s basketball rivalry between the universities Ateneo de Manila and De La Salle.

Read the rest of the article here.

Crap. Now, the rest of the world knows who the cheats are.

Sweet!

Iba ang usapan sa playoff. Tingnan natin ang tibay nila, basta kami matibay kami (The playoff is a different story. We’re tough, let’s see how tough they are).”

- UST Coach Pido Jarencio, before promptly losing to Ateneo, 69-64.

Now, this does not in any way come close to payback for the Game 3 loss last year. Nevertheless, it was still a sweet, sweet win. I was good - no, gratifying - to finally send them packing, especially after their gallery pulled that stupid stunt during halftime in the first round. In a rather weird show of sportsmanship, their cheerleaders - the Bumbling Bees (actually, they call themselves the "Yellow Jackets," inspite of the fact that these species are not native in this region) - promptly cheered for the PEPT Squad after losing yesterday, for good measure.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Comedy of Errors

Regarding my last entry re: Brian Ilad, in the spirit of fairness, love, and world peace, according to the *cough* "Dean of Philippine Basketball," *cough* and I quote:

"Regarding yesterday’s column about La Salle’s Brian Ilad, a reader clarified that the 6-5 center played only two years, not four, at Philippine College of Criminology. But Ilad qualified for only a season in the UAAP because he finished high school in 2001, a limitation in his eligibility. A UAAP senior athlete is allowed to play five seasons in a span of seven years from when he graduated in high school." (italics all mine, baby - d)

So there.


Speaking of errors, a friend from AMA Computer University asked me to post this:


---
Many thanks to A.Y.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Murphy's Law

Last Saturday, the only thing that the Eagles needed to do to finally nail the twice-to-beat advantage in the stepladder playoffs was to beat the sorriest team in the history of the league (not necessarily for this season - that honor belongs to another team).

But of course, they did not.

Yesterday, they had to play a PEPT Squad that is obviously aching for payback, after the two similarly painful losses inflicted on them by the Eagles in the elimination rounds. The game was not so much different from the first two games - only this time, it was Ateneo who blinked first, and it cost them dearly.

(Brian Ilad also did not play - he was serving his automatic one-game suspension after being ejected from the DLRT-UE game, after hitting UE's Brian Fampulme, who had his back turned on Ilad, while Ilad was on the bench. It was reported earlier that he has likewise been slapped a five-game suspension on top of the automatic one-game ban, thus ending his illustrious one-year UAAP career. Note that Ilad had actually consumed four years of eligibility in another league with the Philippine College of Criminology, which explains why he looks like a police sketch.)

Now, the Eagles would have to contend with the defending champions (who just came off a win in their own playoff for no. 4) in a knockout match to determine who will face the PEPT Squad, for the right to play undefeated UE in the Finals. The PEPT Squad, by virtue of the win yesterday, will have the twice-to-beat advantage.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Not Once, But Twice!

Ateneo whooped green ass for the second time in as many games yesterday at the Araneta Coliseum. Chris Tiu (for the second time in as many games) buried the winning trey with 17.8 seconds left in the game.


The PEPT Squad actually had a chance to tie the game, but Rico Maierhofer's putback off JV Casio’s missed jumper was released after time expired. There's no word yet if the PEPT Squad will file a protest.


Honk if you know somebody in the picture (No, I don't mean Dato Arroyo).

Note to PJ Walsham: your level of arrogance should at least approximate your level of play (see Cardona, Mark or Yeo, Joseph). In other words, huwag kang maangas kung banban ka.

Note to all overly-sensitive losers: huwag mapipikon sa mga banners ng crowd ng kalaban. Ang pikon, talo. Sus . . .

---
Images courtesy of the Ateneo Sports Shooters.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Untitled

The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who in the name of charity and goodwill shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know My name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.

- Jules Winnfield, each time he kills someone, Pulp Fiction.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Wills

The following is the best will ever written. Unfortunately, it is not a real will. It was written for an episode of what, to me, is indisputably the best TV series ever.

(I am posting this in light of the news that the late Leona Helmsley, left her beloved white Maltese, named Trouble, a $12 million trust fund. Why is this suddenly interesting, you ask? Well, succession does these things to you.)

In that episode, Where There's a Will, There's a War, Hawkeye goes to help at an aid station, and under heavy shelling he draws up a will, leaving various items to his friends at the 4077th.

“I, Benjamin Franklin Pierce, being of sound mind and endangered body, hereby decree this to be my Last Will and Testament. I bequeath to my father all my worldly possessions with the exception of the following: To Charles Emerson Winchester, though we may have wounded your pride, you never lost your dignity. I therefore bequeath to you the most dignified thing I own — my bathrobe. Purple is the color of royalty. To Father Francis Mulcahy, I leave five cents. You are a man of God, and I know worldly possessions mean little to you, Father. So I leave you a nickel along with something I value more highly than anything I own — my everlasting respect. To you, Margaret Houlihan, I leave my treasured Groucho nose and glasses. Perhaps they’ll remind you of how much I enjoyed that silly side you show all too infrequently. To Sherman Potter, who’s a lot like my dad, I leave The Last of the Mohicans, my dad’s favorite book. I’d like you to have the copy he gave me. To Maxwell Q Klinger, I leave the shirt off my back. Not just any shirt, but my beloved Hawaiian shirt. To Erin Hunnicutt, I leave you a list of all the young men your daddy took care of while he was in Korea. Many of them have him to thank for being alive today. I want you to understand why he has to be away from you those first years of your life. I hope I have the chance to give you this list in person. But around here, you never know.”

The Disappeared



Why are there women here dancing on their own?
Why is there this sadness in their eyes?
Why are the soldiers here
Their faces fixed like stone?
I can't see what it is that they despise
They're dancing with the missing
They're dancing with the dead
They dance with the invisible ones
Their anguish is unsaid
They're dancing with their fathers
They're dancing with their sons
They're dancing with their husbands
They dance alone
They dance alone

It's the only form of protest they're allowed
I've seen their silent faces scream so loud
If they were to speak these words they'd go missing too
Another woman on a torture table what else can they do
They're dancing with the missing
They're dancing with the dead
They dance with the invisible ones
Their anguish is unsaid
They're dancing with their fathers
They're dancing with their sons
They're dancing with their husbands
They dance alone
They dance alone

One day we'll dance on their graves
One day we'll sing our freedom
One day we'll laugh in our joy
And we'll dance
One day we'll dance on their graves
One day we'll sing our freedom
One day we'll laugh in our joy
And we'll dance

Ellas danzan con los desaparecidos
Ellas danzan con los muertos
Ellas danzan con amores invisibles
Ellas danzan con silenciosa angustia
Danzan con sus padres
Danzan con sus hijos
Danzan con sus esposos
Ellas danzan solas
Danzan solas

Hey Mr. Pinochet
You've sown a bitter crop
It's foreign money that supports you
One day the money's going to stop
No wages for your torturers
No budget for your guns
Can you think of your own mother
Dancin' with her invisible son
They're dancing with the missing
They're dancing with the dead
They dance with the invisible ones
They're anguish is unsaid
They're dancing with their fathers
They're dancing with their sons
They're dancing with their husbands
They dance alone
They dance alone

- Sting, They Dance Alone (Cueca Solo)

---
"They Dance Alone (Cueca Solo)" was inspired by Sting's witnessing of public demonstrations of grief by the wives and daughters of men missing in Chile, presumed tortured and murdered by the military dictatorship of the time, who danced the cueca (the traditional dance of Chile) by themselves, with photos of their loved ones pinned to their clothes.

Today is the International Day for the Disappeared.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Maybe You Should Have Slashed Your Wrists

However I forgot that the hub was in Dubai and the majority of the OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) were stationed there. The duty-free shop was overrun with Filipino workers selling cell phones and perfume. Meanwhile, I wanted to slash my wrist at the thought of being trapped in a plane with all of them.

While I was on the plane (where the seats were so small I had bruises on my legs), my only consolation was the entertainment on the small flat screen in front of me. But it was busted, so I heaved a sigh, popped my sleeping pills and dozed off to the sounds of gum chewing and endless yelling of “HOY! Kumusta ka na? At taga saan ka? Domestic helper ka rin ba?” Translation: “Hey there? Where are you from? Are you a domestic helper as well?” I though I had died and God had sent me to my very own private hell.

On my way back, I had to bravely take the economy flight once more. This time I had already resigned myself to being trapped like a sardine in a sardine can with all these OFWs smelling of AXE and Charlie cologne while Jo Malone evaporated into thin air.

All in all, it’s been a pretty good summer. Jetting from the Aegean Sea to the Pacific may sound a bit pretentious until you wake up in economy class smelling like air freshener.

The open-minded writer who made the tolerant statements above has finally resigned from her job, after doing what only Ninoy Aquino and Manny Pacquiao were able to do in the recent past - unite a horribly divided people. Unlike the latter two, however, Malu Fernandez was able to do just that by directing the collective ire of Filipinos everywhere towards herself, and may have actually accomplished what only one person since 2003 has accomplished: become the most hated woman in the country.

She initially tried to answer the negative feedback by dismissing the backlash as the result of the failure of the reader to "get the meaning of [her] acerbic wit." She also said that she was only being true to herself.

The bottom line was just that I had offended the reader’s socioeconomic background. If any of these people actually read anything thicker then a magazine they would find it very funny…I obviously write for the certain target audience and if what I write offends you, just stop reading.

(Obviously, she assumed that the people asking for her head on a plate are all idiots, and disregarded the possibilty that they may have, in fact, read more than the usual fare of Hi! and Yes! magazines. Bad move.)

Fernandez later admitted being insensitive and offensive, as she apologized to the OFWs for whatever she had written.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Daily Planner


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image courtesy of UP SJV.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Criminal Minds

On the one weekend of the year during which traffic at the academic oval goes one-way, and all high school seniors flock to Diliman, I was at Pasay City watching the refs call fouls on flies landing on Jervy Cruz' ass. It was a weird afternoon, one where a post-menopausal biatch from Espana tried to enforce her concept of discipline on us - and failed. But, it's really hard to be down so much even after the loss, since I'd still rather be on the stands watching hoops than in class praying to the gods not to be called. Besides, you have to give it to the Pussies, I mean the Tigers, who really played well that day.

After the game, we joined the team for dinner at a place along Roxas Blvd. I guess the mood would have been a lot better if we joined them after that win against DLRT (whose protest, by the way, was denied with finality last Sunday), but it was all good nonetheless. After all, who would have thought that the team would appreciate all the acts of slander and unjust vexation that we commit during ballgames so much, that it would actually invite us to join them for dinner? Maybe crime pays, after all.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sore Losers

A sore loser is someone who loses in a fair competition but whines about it on a constant basis, blaming everyone around them for their loss except themselves. Fun to taunt, but no fun to play with.

Someone who can't simply be honorable, by accepting defeat and/or trying again. On the contrary, said individual or group engages in childish pissing and moaning; bitching about how it's not fair and the other side cheated, etc.

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Definitions from Urban Dictionary.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Welcome Back

Suspended, adj.. Printed on two tarpaulin banners in green letters on white background, the very first thing seen by the DLRT PEPT (sic) Squad when they turned and faced the Ateneo crowd for their customary angas routine during halftime at the game yesterday.



Oh, by the way, we won, 80-77.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Best Fully Choreographed “Thriller” Reenactment By Prison Inmates You’ll Ever See

Hey. Our penal system works.

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Props up to Allan, PhD for the link.

Monday, July 23, 2007

On Writing Digests

She handed him a long, thin black quill with an unusually sharp point.

'I want you to write, I must not tell lies,' she told him softly.

'How many times?' Harry asked, with a creditable imitation of politeness.

'Oh, as long as it takes for the message to sink in,' said Umbridge sweetly. 'Off you go.'

She moved over to her desk, sat down and bent over a stack of parchment that looked like essays for marking. Harry raised the sharp black quill, then realised what was missing.

'You haven't given me any ink,' he said.

'Oh, you won't need ink,' said Professor Umbridge, with the merest suggestion of a laugh in her voice.

Harry placed the point of the quill on the paper and wrote: I must not tell lies.

He let out a gasp of pain. The words had appeared on the parchment in what appeared to be shining red ink. At the same time, the words had appeared on the back of Harrys right hand, cut into his skin as though traced there by a scalpel - yet even as he stared at the shining cut, the skin healed over again, leaving the place where it had been slightly redder than before but quite smooth.

Harry looked round at Umbridge. She was watching him, her wide, toadlike mouth stretched in a smile.

- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Double Whammy

For a couple of days, I and my former boss, had a nice little thread going about the phrase "double whammy." I saw the phrase in their website, and I thought two of the four pillars came crashing down the steps of the main building. (You can't really blame me. It's not only some run-of-the-mill double whammy, it's a "historical double whammy.") Apparently, no such disaster occured. My boss, who actually agreed with me, later on asked some people to make the necessary changes, only to be informed that neither of them has the authority to make the correction, that is oh-so-begging to be made.

As if that's not bad enough, what makes it worse, is that you are practically telling anybody with an IP address, that either there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth because of some horrible, unspeakable catastrophe, or you don't know squat about idioms.

Double whammy means "a double blow or setback." A whammy was originally "an evil influence or hex," and double whammy emerged not long afterwards. Wiktionary refers to the word whammy as "a serious or devastating setback" or "an evil spell; a curse or hex." It is never used in a positive context, and using it to highlight one of the better achievements of your institution in recent years, is like spending the rest of your life on a Caribbean island, sipping piña coladas and strawberry daiquiris with a hot, supermodel girlfriend, and calling it a curse. It doesn't make sense.

If my memory serves me right, this is not the first time they used the phrase. They used it before in the same context, thereby producing the same confusing and wrong result. Now, to me, that is what you call a double whammy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Do You Have a Cheer?

"Save the cheerleader, save the world."
- Hiro Nakamura

Girls have been with the Babble since a few years after the UAAP came up with the cheering competition. It was weird for some of us, who came and went, without ever seeing a cute girl wearing a blue and white skirt prance at centercourt during halftime. From what I've heard, tradition did not go down without a fight.

Now, not only do you see girls cheering with the Babble during the halftime show, they also dance. Yes. They dance. You know, that stuff that other schools used to do during halftime because they had no cheering squads. Well, actually, they still do that to this very day, only now, they are wearing cheerleaders' uniforms, and chanting pirated cheers. Come on. We all used to make fun of that stuff.

Back in the day, before 2002, when every other team but the Bulldogs beat us, the Babble made sure that we never lost during halftime. You can go to the games knowing that the Babble will at least make your day at the half. Now, we have Kuya Germs' That's.

Please, for the love of everything good and holy, quit dancing during halftime. Maybe it's time to keep the dancing in the cheerdancing contest (which no Atenean I know has really cared about). If I wanted to see dancing, I'd watch Billy Joe's TV show.

* * *

Notes on the UE game:

There were a couple of plays down the stretch in the game last Sunday, which made me think, "God, we really need a point guard."

We really, really need a point guard. Jai Reyes and Eman Monfort are shooters. They are, in fact, very good outside shooters. But, they are not point guards. The UE game, if anything, showed that our guard corps doesn't know what to do with the ball when the game is on the line.

(By the way, UP point guard, and former Eaglet, Mike Gamboa scored 25 points against NU last Sunday.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Brain Teasers

Can you memorize the following in five minutes or less?

Every will, other than a holographic will, must be subscribed at the end thereof by the testator himself or by the testator's name written by some other person in his presence, and by his express direction, and attested and subscribed by three or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of one another.

The testator or the person requested by him to write his name and the instrumental witnesses of the will, shall also sign, as aforesaid, each and every page thereof, except the last, on the left margin, and all the pages shall be numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of each page.

The attestation shall state the number of pages used upon which the will is written, and the fact that the testator signed the will and every page thereof, or caused some other person to write his name, under his express direction, in the presence of the instrumental witnesses, and that the latter witnessed and signed the will and all the pages thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another.

If the attestation clause is in a language not known to the witnesses, it shall be interpreted to them.

Apparently, neither can I.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Res Ipsa Loquitur


Well, you have to hand it to whoever came up with this, uhm, campaign. After all, do you honestly believe that people would even care to take a second look, if it compared itself to the Tayabas Bible College?

Besides, having your school inside a mall just screams international.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

If It's Green, Flush It

Jack Byrnes: "My Mother", by Jack Byrnes. You gave me life, / You gave me milk, / You gave me courage. / Your name was Angela, / An angel from Heaven, / But you were also an angel of God, / And he needed you, too. / I selfishly tried to hold on to you, / While the cancer ate away at your organs, / Like an unstoppable rebel force, / And now we'll meet in Heaven, / And I shall see you / Nevermore, nevermore, nevermore.

Pam Byrnes: Dad, that's beautiful.

Greg Focker: That's amazing, so much love, and also so much information.

* * *

I have read my share of really ugly poems. Trust me, there are very few things in the known universe more horrible than a really bad attempt at writing poetry; and nobody is more pathetic than someone who is harboring some sad delusion, in his heart of hearts, that he can actually write poetry. Or anything at all, for that matter.

(This eureka moment has somehow confirmed, in a really weird and sick way, that birds of the same feather really do flock together.)

* * *

The 70th season of the UAAP is set to kick off on July 7. Most of the games will be held at the NAS, which means that I will probably be watching most the games on TV. The theme is "Recreating the Values of Honesty Through Sports." I don't know about you, but that to me is a swipe, made with all the subtlety and finesse of Lintang Bedol, directed at idiots who are known to falsify public documents to win ball games.

Most of the games in the first round will be played on Sundays. Which is good, because, I am mostly unavailable on Saturdays. The game against the PEP Test Squad is scheduled to played at the Big Dome on Thursday, July 26.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Hi 165

"I do not mean to say that our liberty will be secured at the sword's point, for the sword plays but little part in modern affairs, but that we must secure it by making ourselves worthy of it, by exalting the intelligence and the dignity of the individual, by loving justice, right, and greatness, even to the extent of dying for them, -- and when a people reaches that height God will provide a weapon, the idols will be shattered, the tyranny will crumble like a house of cards and liberty will shine out like the first dawn.

"Our ills we owe to ourselves alone, so let us blame no one. If Spain should see that we were less complaisant with tyranny and more disposed to struggle and suffer for our rights, Spain would be the first to grant us liberty, because when the fruit of the womb reaches maturity woe unto the mother who would stifle it! So, while the Filipino people has not sufficient energy to proclaim, with head erect and bosom bared, its rights to social life, and to guarantee it with its sacrifices, with its own blood; while we see our countrymen in private life ashamed within themselves, hear the voice of conscience roar in rebellion and protest, yet in public life keep silence or even echo the words of him who abuses them in order to mock the abused; while we see them wrap themselves up in their egotism and with a forced smile praise the most iniquitous actions, begging with their eyes a portion of the booty -- why grant them liberty? With Spain or without Spain they would always be the same, and perhaps worse! Why independence, if the slaves of today will be the tyrants of tomorrow? And that they will be such is not to be doubted, for he who submits to tyranny loves it.

"Senor Simoun, when our people is unprepared, when it enters the fight through fraud and force, without a clear understanding of what it is doing, the wisest attempts will fail, and better that they do fail, since why commit the wife to the husband if he does not sufficiently love her, if he is not ready to die for her?"

- José Rizal, El Filibusterismo

Friday, June 15, 2007

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Travel Advisory

What better way to spend the weekend, and the last gasping moments of SCRA-free life, than to overexpose oneself to ultraviolet (UV) radiation at Puerto Galera. There, you can bask under the sun, enjoy the surf and the sand, eat, and maybe swim a little. Be carefree for a few precious hours.

We took the bus to the Batangas City Pier, where we will take a boat that will bring us directly to the White Beach. Once we arrived at Batangas Pier, we were welcomed by dozens of very boisterous locals, who incidentally, also happened to offer boat rides to Galera. Every fucking single one of them. They were all yapping at the same time, and were trying to outshout each other, making every single word they tried to say unintelligible. Well, except for the guy blocking the bus' only door, whose nostril was up my earlobe. You can almost swear they all had the boats up their asses.

It doesn't really change once you arrive at Galera. This time, they will be offering you places to stay. These people, for some unknown reason, cannot comprehend the word "No." (The armed forces should recruit these people.) They are a persistent and unrelenting lot. They are like the Energizer bunny, only less cute and a lot more annoying. In fairness though, the ones at Galera are the "gentler" kind. There is less screaming, but it is no less irritating.

We stayed at the aptly, and quite imaginatively, named "White Beach Hotel." It's not exactly Shangri-la, but they got cable TV, an A/C unit, and an electric fan. Once you turn on the A/C, you'd figure out what the fan is for. There is sufficient water pressure, and if you enjoy the smell of rust in your water, you'll love it there.

The scene at the beach is a virtual seaborne invasion, involving scores of tourists - like us - taking advantage of the three-day weekend, crossing the Verde Island Passage from Batangas to Mindoro. There are as many boats landing on the beach at any given time as there are hawkers back at Batangas. And they come every hour, most probably less. Since they have no other place to land but the beach, every single person on the water tries to stay alive by not becoming the iceberg to the M/B Commando 7's Titanic.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Freedom

. . . is just another word for nothing left to lose.

- Janis Joplin

---
Salamat kay kelrudz sa pagpapakilala niya sa akin kay Janis Joplin sa pamamagitan ng kanyang sining.

Monday, June 04, 2007

I Know What You Did Last Summer

Technically, the break started last April 4. But, because of the uncanny ability of some people in our little corner in Diliman to bend time and space, in reality, it did not start until last Monday, when the last requirement was finally submitted. At least, I had the experience to tell me to enjoy it while it lasts, otherwise I would not have been able to get around finishing the following.

1. Watch the three threequels in movie theaters. In a span of a month, I was able to see Spiderman 3, Shrek 3, and Pirates of the Carribean 3, in theaters. That's three more than all the previous ten months combined. (I'm pathetic. Yes I know.)

2. Play as much NBA Live as I want.

3. Witness LeBron James in one of the best playoff performances of a basketball player since some guy named Michael Jordan. In a tight game 5 contest before a hostile crowd, James scored 29 of the Cavaliers' last 30 points, including its last 25, and all the Cavs' 18 points in the two overtimes to finish with 48 points. They won the game 109-107, and eventually finished the series at home in Game 6.

4. Finish the second season of Prison Break, and the first season of Heroes. Prison Break was a lot better when it was simply about breaking out of prison. But, yeah, Hiro is the Man.

5. Blog. A lot.

Unlike some of my more illustrious classmates, I did not get to dance onstage in my swimwear before thousands of screaming Mexicans. Though I sincerely doubt if anyone in his right mind would pay good money, or any amount of money, to see that.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Game Time

The Philippine National Basketball Team, or Team Pilipinas, as expected, has beaten the living organic fertilizer out of the rest of the field in the just concluded Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) men's championship in Thailand. The RP team beat the host country by a measly 20 points last night, after winning its first three games by an average of 44 points.

With the win, the country booked a slot to the Olympic qualifier in Tokushima, Japan, where the next step to bringing Philippine basketball back into the Olympics will take place. There, Asi Taulava (apparently Pinoy) and company would have the privilege of having their behinds whooped by Yao Ming.

It is great to see the Philippines participating, and winning, in international cage meets again, after the debacle that the BAP brought upon us a couple of years ago. I really don't know why it took so long to get rid of the idiots who made up that sissy-ass entity, who insisted on sending inter-barangay champions to international meets, while the best ballers in the country, who are all incidentally playing in the PBA, are ignored.

Congratulations Team Pilipinas. Hopefully, not one of you will run for Congress.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Sore Wa Kibouteki Kansoku Da

Don't you just wish that, sometimes, we could be more like the Japanese?


TOKYO -- Japan's farm minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka, who has been embroiled in a scandal over political donations, died Monday after a suicide attempt, police said.

"He died at 2:00 p.m. (0500 GMT)," a police spokesman said.

The minister had faced allegations that he reported large utility expenses for a government office building.


If sometimes, we were more like the Japanese, in one fell swoop, this country would be rid of corruption:

(1) without having to deal with extradition issues;
(2) without unnecessarily clogging the court dockets;
(3) without needing to cajole 79 tongressmen to sign an impeachment complaint.


---
Report from Agence France-Presse.
Japanese translation by Pekto.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Foma*

"The business of a law school is not sufficiently described when you merely say that it is to teach law, or to make lawyers. It is to teach law in the grand manner, and to make great lawyers."

- Holmes

---
*Foma are harmless untruths, intended to comfort simple souls.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Wampeters*

1. We've got it all for you!

"The construction of the Php 700-million SM City in a four-hectare lot at the new central business district of Naga City will start before the end of August this year, according to Hans Sy, president of SM Prime Holdings, the largest mall operator in the country."

There goes the neighborhood. Ha!

Seriously though, this is great. A mall. In Naga. Starting December 2008, there will be an actual, real mall within Naga City. Can you believe that? I think I'm repeating myself.

2. Adultery and Concubinage

The news programs and everybody else should really stop glorifying the supposed adulterous affair between the Songbird and the Big Bird. C'mon now. The entertainment rumor-mongers of both GMA and ABS-CBN have been fanning the flames on this for so long and so often, I could almost already swear that this will in some way affect the GNP. What the fuck? The Big Bird has already announced that he will make an announcement (not a typo) sometime soon. No need to remind the viewing public of this future, insignificant non-event every single fucking day. Nobody even knows what the freaking announcement will be about.

By the way, just in case you missed out on the news about Moses and those two big tablets, adultery is a sin. Last time I checked it's still way up there in the list.

---
*A wampeter is an object around which the lives of many otherwise unrelated people may revolve.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Mamacita!

In what may be the best news story of the week, INQ7.net has just reported that Angel Locsin will star in a local adaptation of the telenovela that started it all - Marimar.


With her action adventure series “Asian Treasures” set to end in June, Angel Locsin will portray a character that started the telenovela craze in the 1990s—“Marimar.”


According to the article:


Another challenge for the actress would be specific scenes that require her to display her dancing and singing skills.


I'm not really too keen on the singing part, but if I remember my telenovela experience, the dancing portion should be worth looking out for.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

You Had It Coming

Yesterday, I tried to be a good citizen and trooped to the polls. My vote was an attempt to make a statement against the helplessness of this government to protect its very citizens against forced disappearances, abductions, and summary executions.

I voted for alumni of only three institutions of higher learning (the third being the PMA). It was not by design - I just noticed it after I came up with my final list. This criterion alone eliminated all card-carrying members of the Katipunan ng mga Artistang Pilipino sa Pelikula at Telebisyon. This makes any and all discussions on the merits of having more actors, to add to the likes of Lito Lapid and Bong Revilla, in the Senate, moot and academic. Lito Lapid, by the way, is currently experiencing his worst political defeat ever, against Makati mayor Jojo Binay. Carlo J. Caparas might just be interested to make a film about it.

I am no vegetarian, hence I did not "plant" anybody in the Senate. The thought of "planting" a particular candidate may have actually led vegetarians to forsake the practice altogether.

I did not vote for anybody who had the temerity to be quoted as saying "Yes, it is the voice of the President, but that is not the President talking." I loved Nineteen Eighty-Four, but I am not really a fan of doublespeak. Unlike Winston Smith, I do not love Big Brother. I think one loony in the Senate is enough. Although, I must say, it must be in the genes.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mail Call

The following was copied verbatim from my Inbox. Read on.

sang sulat para kay Kuya Jay (May 7, 2007)

Tol,

Sana pinapabasa ka nila ng dyaryo.

Sana umabot sayo ang mensaheng ito.

Alam naming mahirap ang sitwasyon mo ngayon. Alam din namin na nagaalala ka sa pamilya. Ayos ang mag-ina. Matibay na hinaharap ng mag-uutol ang sitwasyon. At bibilib ka sa husay ni moms. Magu-gulat ka sa dami ng suporta. Kasama ang mga kaibigan, sama-sama naming hinaharap ang struggle na to.

Naalala mo nung kinulong si erpats, di natinag ang pamilya. Ngayon sa krisis na hinaharap natin lalong di matitinag ang pamilya. Huwag kang magalit na kinukwento namin sa mga kaibigan ang pagkain mo ng tutubi, ang pagiging pasaway mo nung bata ka pa. Kasi kailangan nila malaman na tao ka at di hayop tulad ng ginawa ng mga dumukot sayo.

Gusto ko lang sabihin sa'yo na tibayan mo ang loob mo. Tandaan mo na ang iyong paniniwala at paninindigan ay para sa nakakarami. Masmahusay at masmatapang ka sa mga may hawak sayo. Mga duwag at traydor ang dumukot sayo. Kung anuman ang ginagawa sayo para balewalain ang pagkatao mo ay alam mong mas tao ka kaysa sa pinapamukha nila sayo. Tibayan mo ang loob mo dahil nasa tama kang paninindigan. Huwag na huwag kang mag-aalala sa min. Ayos kami. At pinagyayabang ka namin. Isa kang mabuting tao at sinisigaw naming yan sa buong mundo.

Konting tiis pa tol at magkakasama nating titingnan ang pagsikat ng araw!

Para sa bayan!!! At para sa lahat ng biktima ng paglabag ng karapatang pantao!!!

JL

Si JL Burgos ay nakababatang kapatid ni Jay-Jay at isa sa mga unang naging miyembro ng UGAT Lahi. Siya ay isang visual artist at video editor. Isa sa mga walang sawang nakikiisa, tumutulong at nakikibahagi sa pagsisimula ng tutoK karapatan.

Si jay-jay ay si Jonas Burgos. Anak ng yumaong Jose Burgos tagapagtatag ng We Forum at Malaya newspaper mga independenteng puklikasyon ng panahon ng diktaduryang Marcos. Pinaniniwalaang dinukot ng elemento ng militar nuong Abril 28 2007 sa Ever Gotesco Mall sa Commonwealth si Jonas.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Tonight at Noon

ABS-CBN should really refrain from using the word "scholar" in connection with its reality shows. Its rather liberal use of the word is an insult to all real scholars who roam the Earth, and every single time I hear the word used alongside the letters P, D and A, I want to go out, find Lauren Dyogi, and slap him silly.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Summer Tunes

Totoy kumilos ka, baliktarin ang tatsulok
Tulad ng dukha, nailagay mo sa tuktok
- Tatsulok

I got myself a copy of the second volume of Ateneo's Martial Law series for my usual summer reading a couple of weeks ago. I finished it in two nights. So much for summer reading. To fill the void, I decided to reward myself with a copy of Bamboo's latest offering, instead.

We Stand Alone Together, Bamboo's third album, is a fine mix of covers ranging from the 80s protest anthem Tatsulok (yes, it's not a new song) to Metropop winner Umagang Kay Ganda; from the Carole King classic So Far Away to Pearl Jam's Alive. It is social commentary and romantic ditty, popular and alternative, jazz and rock, old and new, all in one neat package. (One of the OPM remakes, Probinsyana, was written by Alex Cruz of Anak Bayan, the father of the band's guitarist Ira Cruz.)

Note that the album also includes a live version of Sting's Englishman in New York. Don't bother looking for it in the track listing because it's not there. Personally though, I think this song alone, is worth the CD's tag price. There is also a second CD, which you can play if you want to make good music with the band. It has five songs played three times, alternately without Ira, Nathan and Vic.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Simple Life

It was refreshing to see most of the people of CSD all together in one place, for the first time since I left almost four years ago. Aside from the number and size of their kids, it seemed as if nothing has changed. It was as if time stopped in this little part of the world, and things remained the way they were since the middle of June 2003. It could make one wax nostalgic about the good old days, when there were no deadlines, no obnoxious clients, no clueless superiors, and you were answerable only to the registrar come the end of the semester.

It was the lowest paying enterprise that I have ever gone into. But, to this day, it remains as the most enjoyable. In what other job in the world can you have the opportunity of shooting each other up within the confines of your cubicle for most of the compensable eight hours you spend on campus? Where else can you confidently come to class as you are, the dress code notwithstanding, because the chair has the same taste in fashion as you do? Where else can you satisfy your urge to play with all kinds of unlicensed software from dusk to dawn - for free? My only regret is that I have learned about the Socratic Method too late in life. It would have made life so much easier back then.

But, I miss the people the most. I worked and played with those souls for the longest period of time more than anybody else. I have gotten myself attached to the place so much so that I wouldn't have left if not for one unfortunate decision that I did not even make. Most of them are still there, apparently enjoying it much more than I did before. Some people have since pursued other career options on the side; some of them are still collecting letters to append to their names. Some of them are now getting physically better. A has come back last year, and is reportedly going to be the Dean come June. I was also told that J would be heading the department soon, to which I can only say this:

Lock and load.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Reclusion Perpetua

Weng and I are off to Naga this weekend to attend a friend's wedding. It's about freaking time. You see, it took them only about 10 years before both of them decided to finally tie the knot. Just for perspective, they have been dating for maybe three years or so, before I met my then future wife. Well, at least, we know that they really thought about this very seriously. We can also rest assured that they are entering into this special contract knowing fully well all its effects and consequences, both having taken up law, and presumably familar with the Family Code. For his own health and physical integrity, I also would like to remind the groom of the significance of Art. 247 of the Revised Penal Code.

I spent the last five months or so listening to an old fart make the same old jokes about his marriage and his wife, week after week. The jokes were admittedly funny (at least for the first two times you hear them). But, when you think about it, marriage is really not so bad. Really (Granted there are others out there who will swear otherwise). Although I have to submit that he has a valid point about how the wedding ring restricts the circulation ("of the blooooood!"). Of course, when you really get tempted to take it off to uhm, permit circulation, you can always remember Art. 247, supra.

Speaking of wedding rings, after the four-hour funfest last weekend, I went to the marketplace that is SM Megamall to have my eyeglasses fixed. Weng went there later and we decided to finally have our names inscribed on our wedding rings - over three years after the fact. The delay was not deliberate on our part - we simply have not gotten around to doing it for the past three years. I was thinking to have "Oh my God, what have I done?!" inscribed, but it looked like the words wouldn't fit.

I was kidding. Really.

Monday, April 23, 2007

More Ads

I never thought I'd see a worse TV commercial than that of Mekeni Food Products, until I saw the ad for Arthro Food Supplement. Until you see it with your own two eyes, you wouldn't believe somebody would be so stupid as to show something like that on TV.

In the ad, a rather unfortunate old man, apparently in really bad shape, testifies before your very eyes how sick he is, while his pitiable condition is shown onscreen. At that point, you are expecting him to drop dead anytime soon. But no. Due to the miracle that is Arthro Food Supplement, the still unfortunate old man, obviously still in really bad shape, is next shown doing something which oddly resembles jogging (or maybe he's trying to kill himself, I can't really tell), and unconvincingly proclaims "Ayan! Ang lakas ko!"

Whoever came up with that ad, should be fired, shot and quartered, not necessarily in that order. I saw pretty horrible ads in my life - from a toothpaste ad asking the entire family "How do you brush your teeth?" to a cowboy with an unmistakable American twang asserting the efficacy of a mosquito coil in the vernacular - but this one, hands down, takes not only the freaking cake, but the entire bakery with it.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Die, Bitch, Die

"Ikaw ang kanlungan sa kahirapan/ Ikaw ang pagasa at kinabukasan/ Haplos mo ay lunas sa bawat pagal/ Ikaw ang dampi ng pagmamahal: PCSO."

There really are only a few things in TV that are a notch higher than mediocre, so you don't really expect the extraordinary, and you don't exactly turn on the tube hoping that the networks would cut down the tele-fanta-sine-seryes and whatnot, and show something intelligent for a change.

So, there are really, really very few things in TV nowadays that would arouse one's senses and stir one's blood into murderous rage.

Take for instance, PCSO's ad. This is slowly becoming to be the most annoying, infuriating, fingernails against the blackboard-type ad ever created by man. The lyrics of the song are probably the most juvenile and pathetic lines of futile attempts at basic poetry that I have ever heard in my life. Whoever came up with this shit must be high on something really very cheap. Either that or they did not have enough monkeys and typewriters.

But no, it doesn't end there. In the ad, while the band (which nobody in the country has ever heard of, but now has more airtime than Parokya ni Edgar) is adeptly demonstrating exactly why nobody has ever heard of them, GMA is portrayed in various poses of care and concern. I don't know shit about psychology, but with the lyrics of the "song" and her face together, it's almost diabolical.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut, 84


- drawing by Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

Sonofabeach

Yesterday was the first day in a quite a while that I did not have to even touch a single book written by any old, dying, or dead lawyer. After the three-hour mind-numbing, harakiri-inducing exercise last Tuesday, the last thing you wanted to do was look at the text of the Civil Code. You were just grateful that the gods saw it fit to mercifully end your misery, and make the three hours gently pass into oblivion, before you can figure out whether the goddamn aquarium guy was a depositor or a bailor.

While most of our fellow masochists are enjoying the summer, or taking summer classes (why they want to subject themselves into such horror, in the only two months of the year that you can actually watch dibidis, is way beyond my comprehension), we lucky bastards still have to prepare for one more four-hour funfest and one whodafuckknows. Hopefully, all of these will come to pass before June - when succession, corpo, et. al. come along.

The good thing is I made it a point to enjoy summer at the same time as the rest of the country. Last week, Weng and I visited the folks at Gapo and spent Saturday at White Rock in Subic. I grew up five minutes away by foot from the coast of Subic Bay. It was the first time I paid any amount of money to swim in it. But, it was all good. After last Tuesday, I was able to confirm that I made the right choice. No further amount of preparation could have prepared me for that one. So, if anything, the pictures should be able to explain my grades.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Granfalloons*

My old basketball team won the alumni league championship in its division two Saturdays ago. It was the team's first championship since the league's founding in 2000. For the past two years, the concurrent demands of unreasonable clients and really, unreasonable professors of the grand manner, would not permit me to join the team, and be its human victory cigar. I would have loved to be on this year's team - I would have been a champion without even breaking a sweat. Literally.

Speaking of the grand manner, three folks from Diliman made it to the top ten of the most hyped examination (probably, rightly so) in these islands. Somebody from my father's Alma Mater placed first. Good for him, and good for all of us, as well. This year's top ten, at the very least, shows that the provincial schools have enough brain cells to give Imperial Manila a run for its money. Nevertheless, I am still happy that the only two law schools I ever considered applying to are still in the list, as always.

On a related note, if you're shopping for a law school, check out if the owner also owns a car dealership. The confluence of such orthogonal factors appears to be a good incentive to prepare well for the Bar.

---
*A granfalloon, in the fictional religion of Bokononism (invented by Kurt Vonnegut in his 1963 novel Cat's Cradle), is defined as a "false karass" (imagined communities). That is, it is a group of people who outwardly choose or claim to have a shared identity or purpose, but whose mutual association is actually meaningless in terms of fulfilling God's design. The most common granfalloons are associations and societies based on a shared but ultimately fabricated premise.
- From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Did You Know?

Reading the Revised Internal Rules of the Sandiganbayan can actually kill off parts of your autonomous nervous system.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Orapronobis

Four exams, one paper, and one whodafuckknows, and my second year in hell is over. Woohoo! Three more to go!

Pretty soon, I'll be missing all the things that make life in Malcolm, oh-so-fun! Hint: We dont need no thought control; No dark sarcasm in the classroom...

Right now I am praying that I can motivate myself to prepare for the upcoming exams like hell. Who am I kidding? I should be reading Crim Pro now - no check that -I should be reading Crim Pro yesterday. I really, honestly want to do well. Oh God, please give me a 3.

The thing is, I have been doing this for two years now and somehow, it always feels like the first time. Yeah, I wish all things are like that. You enter the room and you almost, always feel, that you could have probably prepared more. Yep, like I could have memorized the fucking textbook. I probably need to learn to relax some more.

Speaking of relaxing, we can breathe easy now because we were allowed to take one of the exams on a separate date. This, after the other blocks mindlessly refused to move the date, after the professor announced that she's willing to have it moved to after the Holy Week. Of course, after we were able to get the professor's permission, and after we wrote a Palanca-worthy letter to her (I'll give you one shot to guess who wrote the magnificent letter), some blocks now want to join us. Well, sure. It's a free country. Lookie here, weren't you fuckers planning on taking it this week? What? You're not "well-equipped?" Then, WHYTHEFUCK did you want to take it this week in the first fucking place?!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Goals


Almost halfway there.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Legalized Larceny

Once Confucius was walking on the mountains and he came across a woman weeping by a grave. He asked the woman what her sorrow was, and she replied, "We are a family of hunters. My father was eaten by a tiger. My husband was bitten by a tiger and died. And now my only son!" "Why don't you move down and live in the valley? Why do you continue to live up here?" asked Confucius. And the woman replied, "But sir, there are no tax collectors here!" Confucius added to his disciples, "You see, a bad government is more to be feared than tigers."
- Lin Yutang

I just saw my payslip today. Consequently, I also realized that I made the right decision by enrolling at the State University. At least, (1) I know that my taxes are well spent (read: spent on me), and (2) I know that I am getting my money's worth (I think).

Why is this suddenly so important? Well for one, I want a Macbook. But, I cannot get one right now. I also want a PS3. And an iPod Nano. Nevermind the Civic.

It is the election period, after all. And if we are not vigilant, and we are most definitely not, I am pretty sure that bad people (Joker will make you lagot!) can find plenty of ingenious and creative ways of funneling money from the National Treasury to Garci's best friend's efforts at achieving "Unity," if you get my drift. In the not so distant past, even agriculture secretaries have been known to allocate your and my taxes to things totally and absolutely unrelated to planting rice.

Word is, even the Comelec is short on kerosene nowadays. But, that's another story.

Oh, and Pacquiao has an upcoming bout. So, we also might be paying for the airfares and allowances of some honorable representatives of the people who may be attending some Filipino-American conference somewhere near San Antonio, TX sometime mid-April, without us even knowing about it. And if the Pacman is not thinking too much about dislodging a known opposition member from the House during the bout, we might be blessed yet again, of (1) the sight of Chavit on top of the ring, and (2) of the sound of that voice, which no Filipino, other than the Press Secretary and members of the President's immediate family, will mistake for other than that of the most-hated woman in the history of this country, eerily speaking through the din, "Hello Manny?"

Monday, March 12, 2007

Useless Thoughts

I just miraculously finished all the administrative crap that needed to be done at the office which, incidentally, are all due today. I know that I could have finished them all last week, but I try to put off until tomorrow what I can do today. I just see no point in fulfilling obligations not yet due and demandable.

Last night was the series premiere of Heroes in these islands. It is a very good thing that the semester is just about over, and that our Mondays suddenly cleared up. And thank God for Channels 9 and 23. The so-called Kapuso and Kapamilya networks seem to just keep on churning out garbage, and outdoing each other on coming up with either rehashed story lines or imported dramas, and so far, it's the viewer who's on the losing end.

And what's up with the old man? I don't know if senility is catching up with the arrogant dick, but he really needs to take it easy. He should also stop reliving tales about the good old days. It's the 21st fucking century. We cannot go back to 1941. Unless he can bend time, which I reasonably doubt.

Apparently, the man had the utter misfortune of having professors who are arrogant and aloof. Big deal. Our professors are arrogant, aloof, and assholes. It is also no secret that the old man thinks very lowly of today's generation of students. The thing is nobody cares. I think of some people ahead of me at the ATM line as having the same intellect as that of amoeba, but that wouldn't make them work the ATM faster. Look gramps, nobody is forcing you to talk to me. And contrary to what you think, we do know a thing ar two. We just shut our traps because you are not relevant to us and it's not worth the aggravation.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Back in Time

Last week, I missed seeing the closest thing possible to an Eraserheads reunion. Marcus, Buddy and Raymund got together with Cambio for the book launching of Tikman ang Langit at Powerbooks GB4, which happened to be 10 freaking minutes away by foot from where I am sitting right now. The book supposedly "chronicles the lives of 14 Eraserheads fans as they grew up with the band’s music." Ely was conspicuously absent.

I am not really too excited about the book. It was written by a couple of IT reporters, and not by the members of the greatest Filipino band ever. Besides, I really don't care much about the lives of the Eheads' fans other than mine.

What I sorely missed was the first performance of all three former Eheads in four years. Scratch that. Truth be told, I never saw the Eheads perform live. Ever. That may be the one thing that I wish I could have done. Years ago, I had to forego being in an Eheads concert because of a planned road trip that I couldn't miss. I figured, there would be more concerts to come. Yeah, right. Of course, at that time, nobody - and I mean nobody - ever imagined that they would break up after a few more years because of "height differences."

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Final Approach

I cannot wait for this semester to end. The solitary thing that keeps me going, is the thought that only a little less than a month is left on the academic calendar. After that, bliss and eternal happiness. Not unless, of course, I flunk a subject or two. Oh, God. Please make the bad man stop.

This, by the way, is the heaviest, most loaded semester we ever had, and hopefully, ever will have for the rest of our stay at hell, both with respect to the number of courses and the number of units. As you can well surmise, I am trying to reassure, if not convince, myself that it's going to be relatively easier after this. Yeah. Who the fuck am I kidding?

We have discovered during the course of the semester that the number of units per subject don't mean shit. Two-unit subjects, in particular, are utterly misleading. We did not know, for instance, that they require four-hour exams. Where you really get to use the whole four hours. That is about as long as the entrance exam to the college. Without breaks.

The three unit subjects, on the other hand are something else. One has been expressly made to be a distance education course - we meet only a week before the exams, ala Open U, and the other has been a de facto holiday practically every single week. Yep. It's deja vu all over again.

* * *

On a lighter note, I was told that there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that James Yap begged off playing for Philippine team because Coach Chot Reyes has scheduled practice every Monday. So there.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Curriculum Vitae

I once shook hands with Eddie Vedder (Tibetan Freedom Concert, Alpine Valley, WI, 1999). I was once also a member of the Ten Club. I saw Star Wars Episodes I and III on opening day, and have an autographed copy of the Eraserheads' Natin99 album. I have written for the Youngblood column of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and covered the UAAP for the college paper.

I was able to watch live sporting events at America West Arena (Suns), Soldier Field (Bears), Sun Devil Stadium (Cardinals, Arizona State Sun Devils), United Center (Bulls), Ryan Field (Northwestern Wildcats), and Wrigley Field (Cubs). I have been to the following HRC locations: New York, Chicago, Phoenix, Dallas, Niagara Falls, Washington DC, San Francisco, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Key West, Tijuana, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Atlanta, and needless to say, Makati.

I made my first strike on a bowling alley in Puerto Rico; I was robbed in Tijuana; and I was once sitting on the earth 90 miles off Cuba.

I have seen Les Mis at Broadway, Cats and The Who's Tommy at Chicago, and Pagsi's Sinta at Naga. In high school, I was once a member of the chorus of Ang Pagkamulat ni Fernan Bulastog.

Twice in my life I drove a car at 100 mph (160.93 kph): once when we drove from KC to to Iowa to see the Bridges of Madison County (on a Honda Accord), and another on a stretch of I-65 in Indiana on a long drive from Chicago to Atlanta (on a Honda Civic). I have never had a single ticket for a traffic violation, moving or otherwise, in my life.

My PE subjects in college were: Fitness Walking, Chess, Orienteering, and the required PE101 lecture class. I played, in chronological order, Double Dribble (NES), Lakers vs. Celtics and the NBA Playoffs (PC), and the NBA Live franchise (PS). I played real basketball in the dorm intramurals on my senior year, and played for two seasons in the alumni league (career averages: 0.7 ppg, 1.0 rpg). Virtually, no one - and I mean no one - can beat me at basketball. On a real court, I really suck.

The best job I ever had was teaching at a university 377 kms. south of Manila. The lowest paying job I ever had was teaching at a university 377 kms. south of Manila.

In my opinion, the best bargain in life is still Chinese buffet.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Cardiology, or Valentine's Day Redux

The faculty manual, officially, strongly discouraged me from proceeding with the course of action that I was about to take. Well, obviously I didn't care.

Admittedly, it helped that you were past the age of majority, you already had a college degree, the summer term was over, the dean was a dormmate, a batchmate and a friend, and yep, I didn't care. In addition, the unconfirmed rumors that almost everybody else in the college did the exact same thing at some point before, did not make the decision any harder. I was also advised early on, that the Supreme Court has subscribed to the notion / truism that the heart has reasons of its own which reason does not know, and has held that “yielding to this gentle and universal emotion is not to be so casually equated with immorality” (Chua-Cua v. Clave GRN 49549 August 30, 1990). Yep. I had all my bases covered.

So almost six years after that rather fateful first day of summer, I remain humble and thankful for being truly blessed with someone to annoy, irritate, vex, and infuriate for every single day for the rest of her life. Knowing myself, it's either you really love me or you're a hopeless masochist. Needless to say, I am sincerely hoping it's the former.

I never really watched TV soap - unless, of course, they feature the great thespians Angel Locsin, Katrina Halili, or both - much less, TV soap from other countries. But, somehow, I have learned how to understand koreanovelas in spite of their horrible English (I think it's English) subtitles. If and when we become filthy rich someday, maybe we'll go see Jeju Island.

I apologize for being mentally absent sometimes. They say that law is a jealous mistress. Which is just a fancy way of saying that it is hell on relationships. I know that a part of you is wondering why I did not do this before, but if it makes you feel better, please believe me when I say that I wouldn't have lasted as long as I have now, if I did.

"...I give you my hand!
I give you my love, more precious than money,
I give you myself, before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself, will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?"

Monday, February 12, 2007

W.T.F.

Turns out that "TEAM" in Team Unity stands for something: Together Everyone Achieves More.









HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

What the flying fuck?! I guess some idiot happened to pick up his daughter's slumbook from grade school and decided that those old cheesy and tacky acronyms in the "dedication" section are cool. Or, more probably, he thought that they sum up well enough the level of maturity of the Filipino voter who he plans to screw within the next few months. Who the hell even dared to come up with that crap?

What's next? J.A.P.A.N. (Just Always Pray At Night)? I.T.A.L.Y. (I Trust and Love You)? H.O.L.L.A.N.D. (Hope Our Love Lasts and Never Dies)? Or maybe P.A.R.I.S. (Please Always Remember I’m Sincere)? Note: you can find these acronyms on the Internet. No, really. - d.

O.M.G.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Ninth Circle of Hell

The universe is conspiring.

After reading a pathetic 20 pages (target: 60 pages) of the narcolepsy-inducing textbook in Crimpro last Saturday, it is slowly becoming evident that independent self-learning probably is not best for me. Which is not to say that this is the first time we had a chance to try distance education in the college. We have done it before. With disastrous results.

The PBA is really bad for my Credit class. In a cardiac-finish Game 6 last night, Red Bull went past SMB to live another day and get one last shot at the final All-Filipino championship berth on Wednesday. (How come its not bad for my Torts class, you ask? You see, in Torts, we usually have waaaaaaaay plenty of time to prepare for class. If and when there's class, that is.) I barely finished the 30-something pages of commentary before the game, and ended up finishing a grand total of four assigned cases by 1 am. I was about to start on case no. 6 (at work, earlier today), before good news came down like manna from heaven.

So, basically, there are no classes for the whole week - except for the elective on Friday, with no new assigned cases, mind you - which gives me no reason whatsoever not to prepare for the old man on Saturday. It's really freaking me out, since most of it still doesn't make sense. Wish me luck.

Illegitimi non carborundum.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

That's Entertainment

My college yearbook write-up begun thus:

He is a cross-breed between Albert Einstein and Richard Gomez. He has the looks of Einstein and the brains of Richard.

That should tell you everything you need to know about what I think about Richard Gomez' announcement that he will run for the Senate. I am not saying that he will miserably fail as a senator just because he is an actor. I am saying that he will miserably fail as a senator, period.

Come on. Who the fuck are we kidding?

Since 1986, we have had the following illustrious people as members of the upper chamber of the Congress of the Republic of the Philippines: Tito Sotto, Ramon Revilla, Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr., Lito Lapid, Jinggoy Estrada. (I have left out former Pres. Joseph Estrada. He was, after all, a town mayor for some 20 odd years before he won a Senate seat.) Years have come and gone, to this day I have yet to see a former actor argue against one of his colleagues on an issue of national significance on the Senate floor. One of them actually had the gall to be caught - on national TV - napping during the impeachment proceedings. To be perfectly honest, I am salivating at the thought of Lito Lapid engaging Joker Arroyo in a debate. That would be good enough for Bubble Gang.

This is the Senate folks. Not the set of Enteng Kabisote. This is the same chamber which produced the likes of Manuel Quezon, Sergio Osmeña, Jose P. Laurel, Rafael Palma, Claro M. Recto, Manuel Roxas, Elpidio Quirino, Lorenzo M. Tañada, Gil J. Puyat, Francisco Soc Rodrigo, Jose Diokno, Ferdinand E. Marcos, and Benigno S. Aquino, Jr.

Now, in their stead, we have had Tito Escalera, Nardong Putik, Ben Delubyo and Ben Tumbling. And we can't wait to vote for Tuklaw.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Finding Mr. Right

Mr. Right could be standing next to you.
- deodorant ad posted inside MRT trains

For anyone taking the MRT every day, the ad admittedly poses a curious scenario. And the folks over at the ad agency certainly knew that during rush hour, save for some people who boarded the train at Taft, everybody else would practically be packed and cramped like illegal Asian immigrants in container vans on their way to some US West Coast city. Just like in the movies.

The only problem with this scenario - which the folks over at the ad agency obviously failed to consider - is this: the trains are segregated.

The dumb, rich boys forgot that women and the elderly exclusively occupy the first three cars of the train. The rest of humanity occupy the remaining cars. Which means that, if you are seriously considering the possibility that Mr. Right is standing next to you:

a. You like them old. Really old.
b. You are into toddlers.
c. Your boyfriend is an inconsiderate and insensitive dork who had to drag you into a cramped and testosterone-charged car because he cannot stand a thirty minute train ride to Cubao without molesting you.
d. You are not into girls.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Now Showing

Leave it to local movie producers to ruin really good songs for you by making movie titles out of them, while at the same time, trying - and eventually failing - to make any coherent and sensible story, even remotely related to the title of the song (who cares about the lyrics?). I am expecting nothing less from GMA's latest film, The Promise, which stars Richard Gutierrez and Angel Locsin (who else did you expect?).

The Promise is a very good song. The Promise will be a really sappy and predictable movie. In that film, I am pretty sure someone, sometime during the span of two hours, will make a promise, almost break it, and end up fulfilling it in the end. In between, would be all the other scenes written for the sole purpose of filling up the dead space. It's all too anti-climactic. I hope I am wrong. But, pinoy commercial films are just too predictable that you can almost swear that you know what the lead characters would say next.

Speaking of GMA (the channel, not the dwarf) and Angel Locsin, I thought that after ripping off Smallville, they would, at least, try to give originality a shot. After seeing an episode of its latest offering, Asian Treasures - which could very well ruin the next generation of Filipino students' knowledge of Philippine history more than any texbook ever has - I could swear I was watching Lara Croft. Only this time, the special effects, the budget, the acting, and, uhm, the body parts, are on a much smaller scale. I once said that the mute button has made it possible for me to enjoy Angel Locsin starrers, but the Lara Croft look just doesn't cut it as well as Darna's costume, if you catch my drift.